In any conversation related to relationships, happiness, and success, you’ll often find the word “self-awareness” mentioned. And rightly so. Self-awareness lies at the core of any healthy relationship.
That’s why self-care people have a huge advantage – they know their strengths and weaknesses, and that helps them navigate the complicated world of relationships. They know what to do and, equally important, what not to do.
What are these mistakes that self-aware people don’t make?
In this article, I’ll share ten of them, and hopefully, you’ll know what to watch out for.
Let’s dive in!
1) Blaming their partner for everything
I’ll start with one of the biggest mistakes self-aware people don’t do – play the blame game.
I can’t stress enough how blaming is such a pervasive and common habit in relationships. It’s not just about the big issues. It can be anything from forgetting to do the dishes to forgetting a birthday.
According to psychologists, we get into the habit of blaming because it’s a quick escape from guilt. And it puts us in a vulnerable position, which can be very hard to do.
But self-aware people avoid this trap because they understand that mistakes happen, and they take responsibility for their actions.
Instead of placing blame, they take a step back and assess the situation. They ask themselves, “What could I have done differently?” and “How can I improve in the future?”
The ability to ask these questions can make a big difference in the way you communicate with your partner.
2) Avoiding conflict
Speaking of communication, another thing that self-aware people seem to have a knack for is dealing with conflict.
It’s easy to avoid conflict when you’re in a relationship. I myself have been guilty of this. I’ve put off uncomfortable conversations by stone-walling my partner or altogether escaping by walking out.
Other times, I’ve gone in the opposite direction and just gave in to whatever my partner wanted.
Unfortunately, and I’ve learned this the hard way, none of those tactics are healthy.
You see, for a relationship to be healthy and productive, difficult issues need to be tackled, however painful it is.
Self-aware people know this. They understand that conflict is a natural aspect of relationships.
So how do they deal?
It’s pretty simple: with an open mind and a willingness to listen.
When conflict arises, self-aware people take the time to understand their partner’s perspective. They don’t shut down or become defensive. Instead, they work together to find a resolution that works for both parties.
3) Ignoring their partner’s needs
Spinning off from that last part: “…working together to find a resolution that works for both parties…”
I’ll repeat – BOTH parties.
Compromise is at the heart of healthy relationships. When two people decide to come together in a relationship, they bring their own unique needs and values.
And sometimes, if they have a lack of self-awareness, they may not even be aware that they are ignoring their partner’s needs.
In contrast, this is where self-aware people really excel. They take the time to listen to their partner and understand what they need to feel loved and valued.
They ask questions and work to understand their partner on a deeper level. This can create a stronger, more intimate relationship.
On top of that, because they’ve already gotten into the habit of assessing themselves, they can easily see where they’re lacking or failing to meet their partner’s needs.
That way, even if their partner isn’t extra communicative, the self-aware person can easily spot what’s wrong.
4) Taking their partner for granted
This is connected to my previous point. It’s easy to take your partner for granted when you’ve been together for a while, and especially if ignoring their needs has become a habit for you.
However, self-aware people understand the importance of showing appreciation and gratitude for their partner.
They take the time to acknowledge the things their partner does for them, no matter how small. They say “thank you” and “I love you” often, and they make an effort to show their partner that they’re valued and appreciated.
That said, it’s not all one-sided! They do know how to take care of themselves, too, as the next section shows…
5) Neglecting their own needs
There’s a Rupi Kaur quote that really resonates with me. It goes, ‘How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”
And another one from the book, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower:”
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
Aren’t these so true? When you think about it, the way you treat yourself is a cue for your partner on how to treat you.
We already know that self-aware people pay extra attention to their inner stirrings. So, they know when they’re feeling empty, and they take the time to fill their cup.
They understand that they can’t give their all to their partner if they’re not taking care of themselves first.
If self-care is an area you struggle with, then it’s time to make time for YOU. Indulge in whatever makes you feel good – a bubble bath, some time away in nature, the hobbies you enjoy…
You’ll be surprised at how these simple things can enrich your relationship, too!
6) Holding grudges
Self-care includes letting go of things that weigh you down, and that includes grudges and past hurts.
I know how difficult it is to let go when someone has hurt you. It’s really a struggle to be the bigger person – after all, we are naturally ingrained with a sense of justice, that need to make things even.
So forgiveness…that’s an idea that totally goes against that sense of justice.
But here’s the truth: Holding on to anger, hurt, and resentment…it’s toxic.
Not only is it toxic to relationships, but it’s toxic to you as a person.
Fortunately, there’s a way out of that, and that’s to develop self-awareness. When you’re self-aware, you can:
- Understand your emotions
- Know when it’s your ego talking and let go of that
- Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
- Take responsibility for your own actions
- See how holding a grudge is hurting you
Best of all, you’re able to focus on moving forward and finding solutions instead of dwelling on past hurts.
7) Letting their emotions control them
All of the mistakes above are only possible because of one other superpower: self-aware people know better than to let their emotions control them.
They have high emotional intelligence, so they can override those powerful emotions that can sometimes lead us to make irrational decisions.
I’ve always been in awe of such people. I grew up in a household with two types of parents – my dad was passionate and high-strung, while my mom was calm and composed.
For the longest time, I couldn’t understand how my mom dealt with my dad’s outbursts and fits of temper.
But once I grew up and knew more about emotional intelligence, it became clear to me that their relationship worked because of my mom’s ability to manage her own emotions – she never fought fire with fire.
8) Comparing their relationship to others
In today’s world of social media, it’s easy to compare your relationship to others. When you see couples being all sticky-sweet online, it’s easy to wish your partner was more this or that.
However, self-aware people understand that every relationship is different. They don’t compare their relationship to others or try to make it fit into a certain mold.
Instead, they focus on their own relationship and what works for them. They don’t see the need to try and change their partner to have a relationship that looks like what they see online or around them.
This leads me to my next point…
9) Trying to change their partner
Relationships are tricky. On one hand, you want your partner to be better, but on the other hand, you need to love them the way they are.
This is an area where many people, especially women, get stuck. But they don’t realize that trying to change their partner does more harm than good.
In contrast, self-aware people understand that this isn’t a healthy approach to a relationship.
They accept their partner for who they are and don’t try to change them. They work together to find ways to grow and improve together, but they don’t try to force their partner to change.
And this ability – loving and accepting your partner, flaws and all – is what helps give their relationship balance and security.
10) Giving up easily
Are you one to throw in the towel the minute your partner disappoints you? Do you have the instinct to run when things don’t go your way?
Well, I’ve got news for you: that’s no way to have a relationship.
The hard truth is that relationships are challenging, no matter how in love you are with your partner.
But if you’re self-aware, you have the skills you need to overcome these challenges.
That’s why I say self-aware folks have an advantage. They have two powerful weapons in their arsenal – emotional intelligence and the ability to focus on solving problems
They can stick it out through the difficult times and come out stronger on the other side!
As you can see, self-awareness is a crucial part of a healthy relationship. It helps you avoid these ten mistakes and create a stronger, more intimate connection.
Hopefully, this list has shown you how to avoid making these mistakes and develop a sharper sense of self-awareness.
And remember, while relationships are beautiful, there is no such thing as a perfect one. But as long as you’re willing to put in the work and effort, you can create a relationship that lasts a lifetime.